Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thankful Thursday

This is from my devotions journal that I wrote on Wednesday morning.  I’m not sure it will make much sense, but I felt compelled to put it in writing anyway.  Tuesday was one of those days when it’s tough to be a Mom.  Tough Mom days do not seem to be confined to kids living under your rough. I’m learning that praying is a difficult kind of parenting…but necessary…just as much as wandering down the hall to a help a sick child in the middle of the night!  But you have to do it! 

Psalm 124:6-8
Blessed be the Lord, Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord Who made heaven and earth.

Today is the day after yesterday-a tough day.  My old enemy fear and worry were at work and I probably didn’t even recognize it. Devos yesterday and today were about dealing with temptation.  I wanted to blow them off-after all I don’t smoke, cuss, drink, or chew-and I don’t go with those who do!   But so subtle is fear and worry which lead me to doubt.  I felt I had spent the the day in prayer-a couple of nights too-for Ben and Andrea’s house closing and Wesley’s move to FL.  The deal fell though on the house- again!  I have been struggling with God ever since. WHY? I trusted You.  I totally believed you were able & would complete it!  Why did You not come through?
These questions I cannot answer.  But what I know to be true is God is MY help! IS!!  I cannot answer for the timing, the delays, the circumstances, the things I do not see.  I often heard a voice in my prayers of pleading that reminded me “I’m not a magic rabbits foot.”  And so I return to what I know to be true about God-
He is Sovereign-and I trust His Sovereignty! 
He is Faithful
He is True
He is Good
He is Gracious
He will Provide
He is full of Love

I guess I have temptations a plenty but focusing on Him chases doubt and worry away!

I’m thankful to have spent a much more peaceful day yesterday and today! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Today on facebook one of those memories popped up and it was a link to my blog, a Thankful Thursday post from 2012.  I used to write a thankful Thursday post every week!  Goodness, I think I have forgotten how to blog.  Since today is Thursday I thought I’d give this Thankful Thursday thing a try and maybe see if I can get the habit back!

Two weeks ago yesterday Wally had knee replacement surgery.  Both of his knees are bad but the right knee has been the worst.  He was kind of walking sideways, you know, waddling!  The doctor said the knee was actually much worse than the x-ray showed so it was good that he had it replaced.  Wally and I are both so thankful for the skill of the surgeon and medical team and all the care givers in the hospital; the therapist and all their knowledge to rehabilitate; the prayers and encouragement from family and friends; the healing and the progress!

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Wally is doing very, very good!  He goes to therapy twice a week.  On our first visit the therapist told us that Wally’s knee is like one they see three weeks after surgery, not just five days.  Then he went on to bend and straighten it at painful lengths!  The goal is to have the knee straighten to 0 degrees and bend to 120 degrees.  I would have thought that laying the leg out straight would be easy, but it’s really quite painful.  Wally is already at two degrees so he does not have far to go.  The bending part will probably take a bit more time.  During therapy they have used their “special techniques” to bend it to 107 degrees!  At home, Sadie has her own special methods of rehab…play with me!

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Today Wally had the bandage and the staples removed.  He’s also walking with just a cane.  He has to be able to walk using the cane but without a limp and to be off any narcotic drugs to be able to drive again.  Look out, he is determined!

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I might have made it sound like Wally’s knee replacement has been easy.  But there is still plenty of pain.  You can probably see from the photos that the knee is still pretty swollen.  After he does his exercises he is ready for icing and it is amazing to me how it wears him out and off to sleep he goes.  The evenings are rough, I think because he is working the knee or walking and it takes its toll.  Sleeping is also hard.  We’ve been told it will be hard to sleep for two or three months.  All of that is just part of healing and being restored.  It’s quite a process.  And for all of this we are very thankful! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Though the Outward Man is Perishing…

On February 7 my Dad celebrated his 91st Birthday!   I cannot even begin to understand what that is like.  I think of my parents in the season of “aging” but let’s be honest, 91 is old!  My Mom has often said, getting old is not for sissies!”  There’s a lot of truth in that statement.  I think it takes a warrior!  Trouble is that the body is anything but warrior like at 91.

Recently my Dad had an unscheduled stay in the hospital.  He has a really great doctor and on a follow up visit the doctor “heard” something he didn’t like and had my Dad sent right over to the ER!  That’s not only a good doctor, but the care of the Lord.  The doctors there kept going back and forth as to the cause of his problem…pneumonia or an issue with his congestive heart failure?  They began treating both, antibiotics plus they removed about two and half liters of fluid from around the lungs and the heart.  They also upped his oxygen intake.  It was amazing to see the changes take place with just those two issues addressed. 

Each day this team of computers rolled into Dad’s room and rattled off all the different reasoning's and explanations as to why this was happening and their plan of action to correct it.   There is heart damage, there is something around one of the lungs, the flap that covers his air pipe is worn out and does not cover that air pipe as quickly as it should therefore he aspirates.  Then the questions…did you have a heart attack, could you have been exposed to asbestos, what is the cause of this?  I knew the answers all along…He is 91! 

           Dad's hospital stay            Dads hospital stay

Truly Dad got very good care.  Excellent and very patient nurses and therapists!  So he began to heal and recover.

Dads hospital stay         Dad's hospital stay

Just hanging out on the sidelines observing, caring, being with Dad can be very tiring. I watched my Mom-who is just a bit younger than Dad-persevere each day at the hospital.  I then took her home each evening and watched her struggle up the back door steps, take care of the phone calls and other details that still need attention even when someone is in the hospital, let alone your husband of 65 years!  I got a very clear picture of aging.  Indeed, it is not for sissies!

As I thought about Dad’s Birthday a familiar passage of scripture kept bouncing around my head.  2 Corinthians 16-18…
Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

My thoughts kept telling me that it is hard to grow old and this world is not always so kind in the aging process.  Everyone has a different age in which they live, different experiences given them and they live with different responses to those experiences. Life can be very hard, at the very least it has very hard moments.  It is part of that curse of sin. 

My heart kept telling me what a blessing to go through life with the Lord.  To have the Lord in each of those life experiences makes all the difference.  My parents lived enough of their physical (outward) life before trusting Jesus as their Savior to know that life with Jesus (inner) is the better choice.  That choice alone breaks the curse of sin and gives birth to the inner man.  My parents are warriors to me as I have watched them in this process of outer decay.  Their inner man, is being renewed day by day.  It happens as they are daily seeking the Lord in trust and dependence, daily looking into His Word for guidance and strength.  Daily,  praying for family and friends.  Daily, faithfully, through the years.  Though their active days of serving are mostly over, their active days of faithful praying are in full operation and might be their most powerful service yet!  My Dad is pretty proud of the fact that he has a son running a Christian camp and that four of his grandchildren are in full time ministry.  That is what brings him joy, seeing his children and grandchildren “walk in truth”.  (Pretty sure it excites Mom too.)  My parents also have some ministries and missionaries they support apart from their church giving.  It’s kind of an odd retirement plan they have invested into…  maybe you’ve heard that poem…”Only one life ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”    I have said for years, that no one has looked for the return of Christ more than my Dad.  I might be wrong, but I still have his faithful testimony of doing so.  I don’t say any of that to brag, but to say, all of that is inner man building!  It is what my Dad and Mom have chosen to do.  One day (if Christ does not return in their lifetime) that old shell will rot off so that the eternal, beautiful people can burst out and greet their Savior. 

And here’s another curious thought from 2 Corinthians, those 91 years (84 for Mom) God calls them, “a moment” and those hard things in life, “a light affliction!”  

We had Mom and Dad over for dinner on his Birthday.  Scott and Wes joined us.  I could not believe the difference in Dad!!  I also can’t believe I forgot to take any pictures…I think I’m getting old!!  It was Wes who said something when he was getting ready to leave so I have these two to share.   

Dad 91 years young

Wes, Dad and Mom

I think this photo is quite the contrast, youth and old age!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Renewed

Happy 2017!  Andrea gave my blog a make over and I thought I had better write something new to go along with it!  (It was kind of shocking to see my last post was an entire year ago!)  I wish that getting a make over for me personally was as cute and easy as sending out a text message!  It takes a little more to bring about this kind of change.  It takes some personal work and my favorite word…discipline!  I hope you are reading the sarcasm there because discipline has never been my favorite thing!  Yet I know it is so necessary to accomplish anything worthwhile.  It takes good old fashioned, daily, routine even, work!  As I was thinking about this thing we do every year called New Year’s Resolutions, I thought really I just need to get back to the work, the discipline.  What happens to me is that during the year I let all kinds of bad habits slip in and set up camp!  And with them come all these distractions or excuses that keep me from doing what needs to be done.  It just sets up this awful battle of trying to find an easier or a more exciting  way.  But, if I want time with the Lord, guess what?  I have to take time to be in His Word.  If I want a better prayer life, I have to take time to pray!  There’s really no new or clever ways to do this!  So rather than make a list of what I resolve to do differently this year, I’m starting with some house cleaning…removing those things I let in that are really worthless time wasters.  When Andrea redid my blog it looked so fresh and  ready for new things.  That’s what I want from this year that is before me!  To be renewed! 

Renew means to resume, reestablish, repeat. Ha!  Doesn’t that sound like a good description of discipline?  

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